September 8, 2005

DOUBLE DUTCH:

Claims from Kanto quake would outdo Katrina: S&P (HIROKO NAKATA, 9/09/05, Japan Times)

If a huge temblor like the one in 1923 hits the Kanto region, insurance claims will rocket to nearly 7 trillion, yen topping the cost of any past natural disaster to date, U.S. credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said Thursday.

The immediate impact on insurers' balance sheets would probably be limited by their high level of reserves, S&P said, but their earnings might suffer over the long term as stock prices tumble and extra costs rise.

According to a report, S&P has estimated the claims on Japan's nine major casualty insurers will reach 6.62 trillion yen. The figure is almost twice as high as those stemming from Hurricane Katrina last month, and 20 times higher than the ones caused by the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January 1995 that devastated Kobe and surrounding areas.

The Great Hanshin Earthquake resulted in the loss of more than 6,000 lives and left more than 40,000 people injured.

The temblor destroyed more than 240,000 homes.


Nice to know.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2005 8:32 PM
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